NEWBio Project Concludes, Advances Biomass Energy Efforts

The land stretching between New England and the Ohio River is a critical region dominated by agriculture and forests, but also hosts four of the largest metropolises in the nation with rapidly increasing demand for sustainable energy. With countless rural communities suffering decades of decline, the economic, social and ecological potential for biomass energy is […]

The land stretching between New England and the Ohio River is a critical region dominated by agriculture and forests, but also hosts four of the largest metropolises in the nation with rapidly increasing demand for sustainable energy. With countless rural communities suffering decades of decline, the economic, social and ecological potential for biomass energy is greater than ever.

That’s why from 2012-17 a regional network of individuals from leading universities, businesses and government entities came together to advance sustainable bioenergy in the Northeast. Together with $10 million of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), they formed the NorthEast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio) effort to advance the science and practice of sustainable bioenergy for the region.

From Sept. 12-14, NEWBio will take part in the Mid-Atlantic Biomass Energy Conference and Expo (MABEX) at the Penn State Hotel and Conference Center. MABEX brings together attendees from academia, business, government organizations and the public to showcase the advances of biomass energy.

“Our focus has been on perennial biomass crops, specifically warm-season grasses and short-rotation willow, and the production strategies, policies and markets relevant to this region,” said Tom Richard, NEWBio project director, who is also a professor of agricultural and biological engineering in the College of Agricultural Sciences and the director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment. “Our goal was to pursue our shared vision, that biomass energy could provide the social, economic, and ecological drivers for a sustainable regional rural renaissance.”

According to Richard, NEWBio made tremendous progress building robust, scalable and sustainable value chains for bio-based energy, chemicals and materials across the Northeastern region.

From Penn State University: http://news.psu.edu/story/481487/2017/09/08/research/newbio-project-concludes-advances-biomass-energy-efforts

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